Salem University offers several programs available to international students. Continuously one of the most diverse campuses in the state of West Virginia and across the U.S., Salem international students enjoy the same benefits, access, and resources as domestic applicants.

We also offer an International Low-Residency Program: International students are required to have a physical presence requirement for each class. For on-ground classes the specific requirements will be listed in the class syllabi. Low-residency classes will have a monthly educational summit at our main campus in West Virginia. Low-residency students are required to attend a Salem Educational Summits each month to maintain their I-20 active status. Students are responsible for their cost associated with travel and lodging to and from the summit.

Salem is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. To take classes on campus, a student must have a valid F-1 visa. Salem is required to have official documentation that certifies that the applicant has completed the equivalent degree requirements to obtain a U.S. level degree. For example, a student wanting to obtain a bachelor’s degree must submit certification that they have already obtained the equivalent to a U.S. High-school diploma. All international students must also show they are prepared to undertake college-level work in English.

International applicants who are granted a non-immigrant visa to attend Salem must commit to an enrollment of at least two academic semesters (representing eight months of continuous enrollment) to be admitted and to be eligible for an international student scholarship. If an international student withdraws or transfers prior to the completion of the minimum two semesters, the student’s scholarship will be adjusted which may result in a balance owed to the school.

Applicants must complete the following steps prior to enrollment:

  • Submit Official Documentation of Prior Educational Attainment
    Documents that demonstrate completion of educational credentials vary from country to country. For documents in English or Spanish, notarized copies of diplomas, certificates, transcripts, examination scores, and so forth, may be used to establish completion of prerequisite education and eligibility to enroll at Salem. For documents in other languages, the student must have the credentials evaluated by an agency recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, the cost of which will be borne by the student. A current list of evaluators is available at
  • Submit Proof of Financial Support
    Verification must be provided to Salem University that the student has the necessary funds to cover the costs for one academic year of full-time study before Salem can issue a Form I-20. The financial documents must be translated to English and US Dollars before submitting (applicants can obtain this information from their financial institution), Salem will not complete the conversion. The amount of funding may vary depending upon the duration of stay. International students are required to submit an advance deposit of at least one semester’s room and board prior to enrollment. Students may enroll in classes for a full 12 months per year, which is three semesters. If a student plans to enroll for 12 months per year, they must be prepared to pay for tuition, room and board, course materials, personal expenses, and so forth, for the third semester.
  • Submit Evidence of English Proficiency
    This requirement can be satisfied by:
    • a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper-based test (PBT) score of 500 or more,
    • a TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) score of at least 61,
    • English3’s GATEWAY English Test score of B1+,
    • an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 5.5 or better, or
    • a minimum score of 95 on the Duolingo English Test.
    • This requirement may be waived for students who have graduated from a secondary school where English is the language of instruction.

Salem supports its international students throughout their enrollment process and beyond. We are dedicated to our students through graduation, and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Salem has a team of Principal Designated School Officials (P/DSO) to ensure your international student experience and documentation is top-notch.

The P/DSO team hosts an International Student Orientation each fall to obtain travel documentation and enrollment check-ins. During this time, we will also review U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) requirements, including options for CPT and OPT documentation processing.

The P/DSO team is your point of contact to Salem and USCIS, please feel free to contact us at

Salem obeys all USCIS regulations and processes. No information shall be willingly falsified or filed without appropriate supporting documentation.

Meet your P/DSO team!

PDSO & Regulatory Chair: Rebecca Carr
Primarily located in the Indianapolis office

PDSO: Kathryn Elgin
Athletic Admin Office – T. Edward Davis Building (TED)

DSO: Andrew Friend
1st floor Randolph Campus Center (RCC)